Jared Bednar recently completed his fourth season as Colorado's head coach after being hired on Aug. 25, 2016. He is the seventh head coach in Avalanche history and the 15th in the history of the franchise. He signed a two-year contract extension through the 2021-22 season on July 9, 2019.
Bednar completed his third season as the Avalanche's head coach in 2018-19, leading Colorado to its second straight playoff berth, the first Avs team to make back-to-back postseason appearances in 13 years. The Avalanche defeated Calgary-the Western Conference's top team during the regular season-in five games during the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the club's first postseason series win since 2008. The club made a third consecutive trip to the playoffs in 2020 and advanced to the second round for a second straigh year.
"Jared has done a tremendous job behind the bench and has earned the opportunity to continue leading this team," said Avalanche Executive Vice President / General Manager Joe Sakic when announcing Bednar's extension. "He is an outstanding coach who has the full trust of his players, coaches and staff. He has guided this franchise to two straight playoff appearances and we are excited with what this group can do moving forward."
Bednar, 47, owns a 145-136-35 (.514) record in four seasons behind the bench, which includes an 123-80-31 (.592) mark over the past three years. Bednar, who earned his 100th NHL coaching win on March 27, 2019 vs. Vegas, is the first coach to lead the Avs to playoff appearances in three consecuitve seasons since Bob Hartley did it in four straight from 1998-99 to 2001-02.
Bednar was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's coach of the year during his second season behind the bench in 2017-18. He led the Avs to a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 43-30-9 record (95 points), a jump of 47 points from the previous year. Colorado's 47-point turnaround equaled the fourth-highest year-to-year improvement in NHL history.
Bednar joined Harry Sinden as the only coaches in NHL history to record at least 20 more wins in their second season as a head coach than in their first (with the first year being a full season). Sinden led the Boston Bruins to 37 victories in 1967-68 after winning 17 games in 1966-67. Leading what was the NHL's youngest team (25.8 average age), Bednar helped guide the 2017-18 Avs to their first postseason berth since 2013-14. Colorado dressed 11 rookies, tied for second in the league, with that group combining for an NHL-high and team-record 419 games.
The 2019-20 campaign marked Bednar's 18th season of coaching professional hockey, 10 of which have been as a head coach. He posted a .603 winning percentage as a minor league head coach (251-158-23-19), winning championships at both the AHL and ECHL levels.
Prior to joining the Avalanche organization, Bednar guided the Columbus Blue Jackets' AHL affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters, to the 2016 Calder Cup championship. The Monsters finished second in the Central Division with a 43-22-6-5 record (97 points) and then proceeded to go 15-2 during the postseason, sweeping both the Western Conference Final and Calder Cup Final.
Bednar served as the head coach of the Blue Jackets' previous AHL affiliate, the Springfield Falcons, in 2014-15 and also spent two seasons as the head coach of the AHL's Peoria Rivermen from 2010-12.
Bednar began his coaching career as an assistant with the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL in 2002-03. He took over the Stingrays' head coaching job in 2007-08 and in his second season led South Carolina to the 2009 Kelly Cup championship. He posted a .654 winning percentage (89-45-9) in two years as an ECHL head coach. The Yorkton, Saskatchewan, native was an assistant coach in the AHL with Abbotsford in 2009-10 and later served two seasons as an assistant with Springfield from 2012-14.
Bednar played nine seasons of professional hockey, a career that spanned parts of eight seasons in the ECHL with the Huntington Blizzard and South Carolina Stingrays (1993-2002), parts of three seasons in the AHL with the St. John's Maple Leafs and Rochester Americans (1996-2000), and one season in the IHL with the Grand Rapids Griffins in 1998-99. The defenseman was part of two Kelly Cup championship teams as a player, 1997 and 2001 with South Carolina. Prior to turning pro, Bednar spent three seasons in the Western Hockey League from 1990-93, competing with the Saskatoon Blades, Spokane Chiefs, Medicine Hat Tigers and Prince Albert Raiders.
Jared and his wife, Susan, have a son, Kruz (19) and a daughter, Savega (14). Bednar, who lived in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, on two different occasions for a decade during his youth and also played for the Humboldt Broncos, is personally involved in helping the victims and families of the 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus accident, which includes co-hosting a golf tournament each summer.